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What #SMMW14 Got Right & How #SMMW15’s Even Better

With Social Media Marketing World kicking off on March 25, what better time to reflect on last year’s event?

In 2014, Social Media Marketing World brought more than 2,000 people from around the world to San Diego to hear from dozens of the industry’s most dazzling minds, including Nichole Kelly, Ekaterina Walter and Michael Stelzner.

Does that sound like exaggeration? Compare some of the wisdom the speakers shared this time last year and see how the year turned out.

1. Go visual, create in batches

In this day and age, your target audience has more content to consider than it could ever possibly consume. The key to getting noticed amidst a sea of tweets and posts is to create high-quality content.

More and more high-quality content is more than just words. It’s visuals. Ninety-three percent of the most engaging Facebook posts contain visuals. So,what makes a good visual?

“Visual content must attract attention, entice action, and inspire advocacy,” speaker Donna Moritz said.

Most people can easily knock out a couple hundred word blog post, but creating a visual is different. How can you boost your visual content productivity? Donna recommends creating them in batches.

2. Blog and promote with social

Talk of the demise of blogging is overblown. Between them, Tumblr and WordPress have 163 million blogs. Blogging helps you get content to your target audience easily and inexpensively.

Social media is not the enemy of blogging. In fact, its role as a “content engine” has revitalized the strategy, #SMMW14 speaker Kim Garst writes. If you haven’t started a blog, it’s not too late.

3. Podcasts are in 

Social Media Marketing World took place about six months before the first episode of This American Life’s Serial podcast debuted and remained a top download on iTunes for several weeks.

At the conference, they discussed how podcasts are important because they provide existing and prospective customers a piece of easily digestible content that they can play on the go, Kim says. They noted only 5 percent of digital marketers use podcasting, but that number was expected to rise to 24 percent within a year.

4. Find your sweet spot

Joe Pulizzi - Find Your Sweet Spot - Social Media Marketing World 2015

Ninety percent of businesses engage in content marketing, but only 45 percent of them say that what they produce actually brings a result, according to SMMW speaker Joe Pulizzi.

Joe recommends pausing before creating your next piece of content to understand the reason for doing it. By answering the why, you’ll better understand your objectives, audience and niche.

As Joe Pulizzi said at last year’s conference, “Find your sweet spot – the intersection between what you know as a company and what your customers need to know.”

This year’s conference starts on March 25, but can it be as great as last year’s? From the looks of it, this year’s event will be even better.

5. Use the advocates you have

Jay Baer, another one of SMMW’s speakers, discussed influencer marketing and said the most powerful potential social advocates a brand has work in your office. Your employees understand your brand like the back of their hand, know relevant connections, and have motivation to help the company succeed.

To empower social advocacy, Baer says, instill a culture of freedom and trust. That comes at the cost of giving up some control of the message, but it often comes with a greater social presence and outcomes.

How Can #SMMW15 Top #SMMW14?

The sunny skies of San Diego will always be beautiful and last year’s conference drew rave reviews. How can Social Media Examiner put on an even better conference this year?

It probably wasn’t easy, but here are two reasons it looks like they did it.

1. Top industry minds

If you want to get in touch with a top industry mind from March 25-27, know that they will likely be busy speaking at #SMMW15.

Some of the names, such as Joe Pulizzi and Jay Baer, you’ll recognize from last year’s conference. But what’s wrong with that? They’re top minds because of their ability to identify and capitalize on trends.

Of course, the conference has brought in new perspectives that will surely give your marketing a boost.

The sessions at #SMMW15 will show attendees how to deploy social best practices, track the results, reduce trial and error time, and more!

2. Anticipation is high

The organizers of the event have done a great job building excitement for next week’s event. Take a look at the #SMMW15 Facebook page and tell me people aren’t fired up about this conference.

People have already started networking. Some have even begun looking for other attendees from their home state or home country making the trip. Others are organizing events and planning their agendas.

Attending #SMMW15? Come visit Cision for some great information and fun goodies!

Tags : social media

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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